The Catholic Church’s support for immigration reform is deeply rooted in its belief of the dignity of all persons, a core tenet of Catholic Social Teaching. The Catholic Charities offices of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn have organized a pilgrimage on November 22nd in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform for the 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently reside in the United States. We urge all Catholics to pray on this day that God will touch the hearts of our country’s leaders so that they work together to bring about justice for our immigrant brothers and sisters.
The Church has taken a powerful public stand as many resources and much effort has been put into creating more awareness, engaging and rallying parish support and influencing legislators. The Justice for Immigrants (JFI) campaign has been the primary vehicle from which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has driven its efforts for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).
In preparation for the next phase of the campaign and to capitalize on the momentum that has been created, JFI has organized these Pilgrimage For Reform. Unlike a march, a pilgrimage is a spiritual journey that deepens both individual and communal devotion through prayer and sacrifice. It is calls us to an intentional destination through intentional action. It can provide an opportunity for reflection, sharing, relationship building and greater understanding of oneself and God’s role in our life. It can also serve as a testament to the further commitment of the Catholic Church for CIR and more importantly to the people who are suffering under our current broken immigration system.
The agenda for November 22 follows:
- 11:00 am – Commissioning prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Agnes, with Bishop Brennan presiding.
- 11:47 am – Pilgrims and companions will take the LIRR to Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn.
- 1:00 pm (approximately) – We will meet with the Brooklyn Pilgrims at St. James Cathedral (Jay St. and Cathedral St.).
- 2:00 pm – We will meet up with NYC Pilgrims after crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
- 3:00 pm – Press Conference will be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Church just outside Battery Park (7 State St., NYC).
- 3:30 pm – Rosary Vigil will take place at Battery Park.
- 4:00 pm – Immigrant Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary.